The WVU Mountaineers seek to start their 2015 campaign with three victories in a row Saturday as they host the University of Maryland Terrapins at Milan Puskar Stadium.
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The last time out, the Mountaineers (2-0) claimed a 41-17 victory at home two weeks ago over the Liberty University Flames. The Gold and Blue has put 32 of its last 34 non-conference regular season contests in the win column.
The series with the Terrapins is tied with Virginia Tech for the fourth longest set of matchups in program history. WVU is 4-1 under head coach Dana Holgorsen against teams from the Big Ten Conference.
Maryland (2-1)had its passing attack firing on all cylinders last week as redshirt junior quarterback Caleb Rowe recorded 297 yards and four touchdowns in his first start since 2013. The Terrapins had an impressive 35-17 victory over the South Florida University Bulls.
When: Saturday, Sept. 26
Kickoff: 3:00 p.m. ET
Site: Milan Puskar Stadium
WVU Ticket Information: WVU Game
Playing Surface: FieldTurf Duraspine
All-Time Series: WVU leads 27-22-2
In Morgantown: WVU leads 14-9-1
In College Park, Maryland: 13-11-1
At Neutral Site: WVU is 0-2
Television Coverage: FOX Sports 1
Announcers: Justin Kutcher and Petros Papadakis
Radio Coverage: WZST 100.9 FM and the Mountaineers Sports Network From IMG Sports
Announcers: Tony Caridi and Dwight Wallace with Jed Drenning reporting from the sideline
Live Audio Stream: leanStream
Live Stats: Stat Broadcast
Sirius XM Satellite Radio: Sirius Channel 113, XM Channel 200
Odds: WVU -17 According to Bovada Online Sportsbook with the over/under at 57.
Weather Channel Online: Partly cloudy skies with a high of 73. The chance of showers is zero percent. The winds should be out of the east at 10 to 15 mph.
West Virginia has assembled a record of 158-60-4 at Milan Puskar Stadium since it opened its gates back in 1980. A total of 12,145,291 fans have watched a game at the facility.
With the First Pick
Two weeks ago against Liberty, junior quarterback Skyler Howard completed 21 of 26 passes for 263 yards, no interceptions, and three touchdowns. The Mountaineer offense will need another steady performance on Saturday against Maryland.
WVU enters today’s match-up with an average of 514 total yards of offense after their first two contests. The Mountaineers are cruising with a 44 percent conversion percentage on third down this season.
The Gold and Blue defense had a trio of players with seven tackles against Liberty. They were redshirt senior linebacker Nick Kwiatkowski and redshirt sophomore linebacker Al-Rasheed Benton along with sophomore safety Dravon Askew-Henry.
One of the strengths of the Maryland defense in their first three contests has been their ability to get after the quarterback. The unit has a total of 14 sacks. Junior defensive end Yannick Ngakoue and redshirt junior defensive tackle Quinton Jefferson lead the attack with a total of eight combined sacks.
Special teams has contributed to the Terrapins solid start this season. Junior defensive back William Likely’s ability as a returner has helped Maryland’s offense. They start their average offensive drives at the 38.7 yard-line. The key will be keeping him out of the end zone.
My Prediction: WVU Mountainers 31 and Maryland Terrapins 24
Up Next: The Mountaineers begin the Big 12 Conference part of their schedule next week. WVU travels to Norman to battle the University of Oklahoma Sooners. The time for kick-off at Memorial Stadium is 12 noon ET.